“Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
While we might need each other, we need Jesus even more. In John 15, the imagery of the vine and the branches continues to be one we cling to. Yet one of the other phrases, while comforting, can also strike at our self-reliance. The thought that can easily creep into our minds is, “I don’t need help”. However, Jesus is clear-“apart from me you can do nothing.” Christ is talking about bearing fruit, like “love, joy, peace”, those core features of a disciple. To bear fruit is the life Jesus calls us to, and our total reliance on Him yields a fruitful life, a life lived for the Father’s glory.
- The prayer “I can do nothing apart from You” is simple and powerful. What situations are you facing today that need prayer?
- How can you rest assured that God is with you and loves you?
Father, I can do nothing apart from You.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear such fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
One of the distinctly beautiful features of the gospel of John is its seven “I am” sayings. These statements serve to identify Jesus with Yahweh-the eternal, ever-present, covenant-keeping God who revealed Himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14: “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.”‘ “Jesus’ declaration in John 15:1-5-“I am the true vine”-is the seventh “I am” statement. On the eve of His death, Jesus reminded His disciples of how essential it was to remain connected to Him. Through Christ’s words we understand that “loving obedience” is required to abide in Him: “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just I have kept my Father’s commands, you will remain in my lvoe, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”